Thu, Sep 22, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ko declines councilor’s call to visit China, meet Xi

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday declined a city councilor’s suggestion that he visit Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to warm up cross-strait relations and increase Chinese cash flow to the nation.

Saying Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chiayi City Council Speaker Hsiao Shu-li (蕭淑麗) and several Chiayi city councilors have recently met with Xi, Independent Taipei City Councilor Lin Ruey-tu (林瑞圖) asked Ko if he would follow suit.

Lin said that Taipei’s tourism, real-estate and restaurant sectors have seen a sharp decline in business since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office, and that Ko, whom Lin said has the highest profile among all mayors and county commissioners, should follow Hsiao’s example and pay Xi a visit.

“I am not asking you to acknowledge the ‘1992 consensus.’ I am asking you to visit Xi for the sake of all Taipei residents,” Lin said.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted to making up in 2000 — refers to a supposed understanding between the KMT and China that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is only “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Lin repeatedly pressed Ko for an answer and called him a “coward” when Ko was preparing to answer.

“We can arrange a three-day visit. If you do not dare go alone, I will accompany you,” the councilor said.

“Would a meeting [with Xi] solve all those problems?” Ko asked.

The mayor said he has not made any plans to visit China, adding that his next trip to China would likely be for next year’s Taipei-Shanghai forum.

However, Lin asked Ko to think his proposal over for three days, and give him a call if he agrees to a visit.

“I have never received any telephone calls from you. I will be euphoric if I get your call,” the councilor said.

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